Post-surgical and obstructive gastroparesis

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2007 Aug;9(4):280-5. doi: 10.1007/s11894-007-0031-2.


Post-surgical gastroparesis (PSG) is recognized as a consequence of vagal nerve injury following upper abdominal surgery. It has been well documented following vagotomy for peptic ulcer surgery. With the increasing role of surgical treatment in the management of GERD and morbid obesity, PSG is now being diagnosed after fundoplication and bariatric surgery. PSG has also been reported after heart and lung transplantation, possibly due to opportunistic viral infection or motor-inhibitory effects of the immunosuppressive drugs, in addition to vagal nerve injury. Initial postoperative management of PSG should be conservative as many symptoms following abdominal surgery resolve with time. This occurs possibly because the enteric nervous system is able to adapt to the loss of vagal input or vagal reinnervation occurs. Persistent symptoms are difficult to manage and require a multidisciplinary team approach. Gastric electrical stimulation has shown promise in small series.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fundoplication / adverse effects*
  • Gastroparesis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach / innervation
  • Vagotomy / adverse effects*
  • Vagus Nerve Injuries